Atlanta, Georgia, Dec. 31 – With the fate of the U.S. Senate at stake thanks to the hard-fought Georgia Senate Runoff campaign, the nonpartisan disability rights nonprofit RespectAbility has released its latest Georgia State Voter Guide. According to the 2019 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, the total number of Georgians with disabilities is 1,246,077, making up 12.1 percent of the total state population.
2018 employment data shows that there are 658,811 working-age people with disabilities in Georgia. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 238,875 (or 36.3 percent) of those Georgians have a job.
RespectAbility has asked Democratic and Republican candidates for President, Governor and the U.S. Senate during the entire 2020 election cycle the same key questions about issues affecting people with disabilities, including employment, education, criminal justice and accessibility.
On Monday evening, the Georgia Disability Vote Partnership (GDVP) hosted a live streamed voting forum featuring all four of Georgia’s Senate runoff candidates. The forum showed answers from all candidates to the same questions: 1) Why is it so important for the disability community to be involved in the political process? 2) How do you plan to engage the disability community to be more involved and active in the laws, decisions and policies that affect our lives?
In addition to the forum with the GDVP coalition, Democratic challengers Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are further connecting to voters with disabilities by responding to RespectAbility’s prior questionnaire requests. RespectAbility hopes to receive answers from Senators Loeffler and Purdue and even more from Ossoff in the future. All future responses will be posted in full on The RespectAbility Report immediately upon receipt.
Even before the general election, the Georgia Disability Vote Partnership (GDVP) has been working hard to mobilize Georgia’s disability community and turn out the vote. The Arc Georgia has compiled extensive resources online to help Georgians with disabilities make a plan to vote, vote early by mail or vote in-person on January 5, 2021. These and other voter specific resources can be found online: https://ga.thearc.org/vote.
Additionally, The Arc offers its own Disability Voter Guide in plain language about who can vote, how to vote, how to learn more about candidates, and other resources. That guide is available in English: http://thearc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ Disability_Voter_Guide_English.pdf and in Spanish: http://thearc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ Disability_Voter_Guide_Spanish.pdf.
Because transportation is a key barrier faced by many voters with disabilities, partnering organization Ride to Vote is offering an online option to request an accessible ride to the polls. To request and confirm your ride, please visit https://bit.ly/RideToVoteGA and email the following to confirm your ride: Mia Ives-Rublee at firstname.lastname@example.org, Carmela French at email@example.com, and Zan Thornton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls. View more coverage of 2020 candidates.